Every good dancer knows that regular practice is a must, but did you know that careless practice can actually make you worse? Before you tell your parent or your teacher that you have decided not to practice, think about the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and HOW of practice that will help you dance better and enjoy dance more.
YOU! Good practice involves your mind, your body, your emotions, and the dance. Your parent or teacher may be able to force you to spend time practicing the steps, but only YOU can focus your mind and your feeling on the movements you are producing, so that the steps you dance are beautiful and correct.
Practice that progresses toward perfection will include:
- Review of steps, movements and dances
- Your new corrections
- Something you really love dancing, or just for fun (maybe even make up a step or dance of your own)
“Only on the days that you eat!”
The best plan is to make practice a part of your daily routine. If you know you will practice at a certain time every day, it will happen with very few exceptions.
This is a VERY important question! Many students practice by dancing straight through a dance (often as quickly as possible) as if they were at a competition, then go on to the next thing, no matter what happened. Money won’t buy better dancing, but well spent practice time will. Here are some hints for getting the most for your practice “dollar.”
- Before each dance or step, ask yourself “What am I working on?”
- Be sure you know what the step or movement should look like
- Work on the most challenging spots first
- Break the dance and steps and movements down into small sections
(How do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time!)
- Repeat the movements and steps many times AFTER you get it right
- Before you end each practice session, dance the entire dance and enjoy the feeling of doing it well! Bottom of Form